Osaka Fashion Episode 5: Sakura in Abeno

While visiting a friend at her English Conversation School – Grove English in Abeno – I was approached by two very talkative college-age students who hit me with a barrage of questions, “Who are you? Why Are you here? What do you do?!” Generally, Japanese people can be a little shy when meeting someone for the first time, but these two impressed me with their forwardness. We could only talk a short time, as they needed to get to class, but the bolder of the two, Sakura, agreed to meet me later for more conversation.

osaka fashion episode 5

How did you find Grove?
I passed by after school one day, and I liked the style.
It looks different from the other shops around here, doesn’t it?  How long have you studied here?
Four years, but English is so hard.  I don’t have a chance to speak it every day.  And I forget a lot.

This neighborhood has some interesting places. Like this playground with a giant plastic tube-thing. I think you’re supposed to whisper on one end and the person on the other can hear you really easily.
It’s strange and cool!
The neighborhood also used to have so many empty store fronts, but during the pandemic new shops kept opening up along the Abeno-suji because people didn’t or couldn’t go to the busier parts of Osaka.
I don’t know the neighborhood well, but I want to explore it. I have been to the Izakaya restaurant Kagami, and it’s great.

What are you studying besides English now?
Dance! I dance all around Osaka. I started ballet when I was 3, and I have been dancing ever since. I now dance at Fuonsha.

osaka fashion episode 5

There are so many costumes in your dance photos. You have to think a lot about fashion, I imagine.
Yes! I always use fashion to express my feelings for the day.

osaka fashion episode 5

What are you wearing today?
Mostly Zara! I just chose an easy outfit today. Ha ha!
What are your favorite brands?
Zara is number one. I also like H&M, Charles & Keith, Vivian Westwood and UNIQLO. I don’t buy many expensive brands!
osaka fashion episode 5

My bag is from Shein.
Shein is so popular now all around the world. Do you ever go overseas to shop?
Never have, but I really want to!

I’ve got Dr. Martens boots.
I know so many women in Japan who love Doc Martens.
They make me feel powerful!

How about your jewelry?
My rings and earrings are from Pandora.
Where do you most like to shop in Osaka?
Umeda. Everything’s close together there.

osaka fashion episode 5

This street behind Grove has a great Showa-style standing bar, but I heard it’s going to close. This whole block might be razed. The okonomiyaki restaurant and beauty salon have been closed for a long time.
Too bad. I like the atmosphere. I know that the teachers and some students go to the standing bar, but I haven’t been yet.

osaka fashion episode 5

I’m glad the shops, cafés, bars and restaurants on the Abeno-suji are preserving the Showa style. I also love that this bar just has a sign that says BAR. I wanted to take you into Coffee Long Season here for some photos, but I think he’s at an event today.
It’s OK. We can sit outside. It’s a nice evening! The coffee shop is cute. I’ve only seen it from the outside. I’ll come here another time.

osaka fashion episode 5

How do you feel about your future?
Great! I want to make my own clothes in the future, and dance all the time. And get better at English!


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